Black Chasm Caverns
Volcano, Ca- Outside of Sutter Creek in Amador County approximately an hour and a half out of Sacramento.
Visit this National Natural Landmark and become enchanted by the bauty of a wide variety of formations including stalactities, stalagamites, flowstones and a rare helictite crystals. Go on a guided tour and learn about the caverns year round! Open daily and cost is $14.95 adult, $7.95 children ages 3-12. The tour is said to be “kid friendly”, but I would wait until the children are old enough to pay attention to a tour guide and easily climb up and down steep stairs. I would think 1st grade and up would be ideal, but they older kids would really get a bit “more” out of the tours.
Calaveras Big Trees State Park– Located about 1.5 hours from Sacramento. This state park is home to some of the largest and majestic trees alive. Things to do include: hiking, camping, picnicking, bird watching, photography and just relaxing! Trails are easy enough for kids of all ages.
Indian Grinding Rock State Park
Located in historic Pine Grove, outside of Sutter Creek- you can view over 1,000 mortar holes — the largest collection of bedrock mortars in North America. The Miwok Indians would gather acorns and then ground them with stone pestles in the mortar holes, or chaw’se, into ﬂour. This is history that can’t be told in a book- a must see for everyone.
They also have a nice hiking trail that is easy enough for the kids to hike along.
Jelly Belly Factory
Located in Fairfield, just 45 minutes west of Sacramento you can take a tour of the famous candy factory. Walking tours are 40 minutes and you can see where they create over 150 different sweet treats that we all enjoy!
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
Located in Vallejo, only a little over an hour outside of Sacramento- this is America’s only combined marine life, wildlife and wild rides theme park. There is something for the entire family, from little kiddos to grandparents. The rides alone will keep you screaming for hours, and the wildlife shows are incredible. Check website for hours and time. Coupons can also be found on the website.
The Serpentarium– A Living Reptile Museum
Located in Lodi, just 45 minutes outside of Sacramento- they offer one of the largest displays of reptiles in the country. Exhibits include spectacular animals such as False Water Cobras, Burmese Pythons, Rainbow Boas, Anacondas, large Monitor lizards, Turtles and Tortoises, Geckos, Frogs and so much more!
General Admission is only $2/person with various low cost Experiences available to enhance your visit. Experiences include being able to feed “Splash,” a 6-foot Water Monitor who jumps into his pond after meals, or hold and take photos with “Crazy Legs,” an 11-foot Albino Burmese Python, or watch “Skittles,” a colorful Panther Chameleon, snatch up a mealworm with a tongue twice as long as his body, then watch his colors change as he crawls up your arm!
Just a two hour drive from Sacramento, the UC Davis Marine Lab offers free tours to the public each Friday afternoon. You’ll get an in depth tour of the facility, learn all about the coastal marine life being studied, and get a chance to spend some time at the touch pools just outside the facility. Located at Bodega Head in Bodega Bay, this is a great visit to plan while spending time on the coast.
World of Wonders Science Museum in Lodi
This “exploratorium like” science museum is perfect for kids of all ages. They can learn hands on about energy, electricity, magnetism and more in fun and interactive exhibits.